Refresh Financial is a credit-building lending institution in Canada that helps Canadians build or rebuild their credit.
Having below-average credit scores will most often limit your opportunities and increase your financial burden. In fact, some banks and lenders will not approve your loan due to a low credit score. Others charge high-interest rates to protect themselves in case you don’t pay back.
So, if you’re looking to build or rebuild your credit score, Refresh Financial got you covered. Refresh offers credit-building solutions to help you achieve your financial goals while building your credit history.
This Refresh Financial review covers everything you need to know before becoming a user. It discusses Refresh Financial product offerings, pros and cons, and many more.
Who is Refresh Financial?
Refresh Financial is a fintech company offering credit-building services in Canada. More than 100,000 Canadians use this company to build their credit and attain their financial goal.
Established in 2013, Refresh is a Kelowna-based (British Columbia) company offering customized credit-building loans and secured cards for individuals with no credit or very poor credit history in all Canadian provinces except New Brunswick and Saskatchewan.
In 2021, Refresh Financial was acquired by Borrowell, one of the largest fintech companies in Canada.
Regardless of your credit history, Refresh has a customized solution to help you get on your feet in no time. Its two main products are the Refresh Credit Builder Loan and the Refresh Financial Secured Card.
In addition, Refresh’s Black Tier is an all-in-one credit-building toolkit that has everything you need to improve your credit score.
Refresh Credit Builder Loan
- Size: $1,250 – $10,000
- APR: 19.99%
- Term: 36 to 60 Months
- Credit Check: No
The Refresh Credit Builder Loan requires you to make deposits into a loan account that you can access in the future. Your payments are reported to Equifax and TransUnion, helping you build your credit score.
After opening your Credit Building Account, you make pre-authorized bi-weekly payments into a secured account to build your payment history. The payment amounts depend on how much you want to borrow. It usually ranges between $1,250 and $10,000.
You can access your savings at any time or cancel at any point. It would take about 10-15 business days for your funds to be deposited in your bank account.
Refresh Financial Secured Card
- Credit Limit: $200 – $10,000
- Interest Rate: 17.99%
- Maintenance Fee: $3.00/month
- Annual Fee: $12.95
- Credit Check: No
Refresh Financial’s secured credit card is one of Canada’s best for individuals with bad credit scores struggling to qualify for a regular credit card.
When you apply for Refresh Financial’s secured credit card, no credit check is carried out, and you might get instantly approved. This is why the secured credit card is marketed as a “Guaranteed Approval” credit card.
All you need to do is provide a security deposit equal to your credit limit, between $200 and $10,000. Your card payments are reported to TransUnion and Equifax, helping you build your credit score if you use the card responsibly.
Refresh Financial Black Tier
Refresh Financial’s Black Tier offers real-time access to your TransUnion credit report and score. It also sends alerts when there are any changes to your credit score.
After a 30-day-free trial, the Black Tier charges $16.95/month for:
- Credit Report and Alerts: Black Tier connects you to a credit bureau, giving you access to your credit score and report. It also offers credit alerts, helping you stay on top of your finances.
- Credit Simulator: Test how different scenarios may affect your credit score with the credit simulator.
- Goal Manager: Set your target credit score and track your progress with the goal manager.
- Refresh Academy: Improve your financial education with over 60 video courses and quizzes from the Refresh Academy library.
Pros and Cons of Refresh Financial
Every credit-building lender has its pros and cons. Refresh is not an exception. Here are the benefit and downsides of Refresh Financial:
- It offers customized credit-building products that help you improve your credit score cost-effectively
- The $3.00/month maintenance fee and $12.95 annual fee of Refresh’s Secured Card is low compared to the competitors.
- It doesn’t conduct credit checks on all its credit-building services
- Regardless of how poor your credit score is, you’re guaranteed approval once you meet the requirements.
- Unlike other credit-building lenders, Refresh charges additional fees for ATM usage and inactivity
- There are several complaints about Refresh’s poor customer service
- Refresh doesn’t offer cashback or rewards points for making purchases with its Secured Card
Is Refresh Financial Legit?
Absolutely. Refresh Financial is a legit credit building lender with A- rating on Better Business Bureau (BBB). Also, Borrowell, Refresh’s parent company, has an A+ rating on Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Refresh is trusted by over 100,000 Canadians, while Borrowell has more than 1.5 million users. Refresh doesn’t conduct credit checks on all its products and offers advanced encryption to protect your personal information.
However, you can always report fraudulent charges on your account to Refresh at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-746-4840 between 10 am – 6 pm ET (Monday to Friday).
Overall, Refresh is legit and safe, and you use it as your vehicle for building or rebuilding your credit score.
Eligibility Requirements for Refresh Financial
Refresh Financial is available for anyone looking to build or rebuild their credit history. However, not everyone can qualify for Refresh services. You must meet the following requirements to be eligible for Refresh credit building services:
- Reach the age of majority in your province or territory
- Be a permanent Canadian resident
- Have an active bank account
- Have a valid government-issued ID
- Be willing to offer your proof of monthly income
- Accept to make a security deposit (i.e., secured card application)
Refresh Financial Secured Card vs Home Trust Secured Visa
Home Trust Secured Visa is one of the major competitors of Refresh Secured Visa in Canada.
Just like Refresh Financial, the Home Trust Secured Visa can help you improve your credit score with secured credit regardless of your credit history or bankruptcy history.
Though Home Trust Secured Visa also offers up to $10,000 credit, it has a relatively high-interest rate (19.99%) compared to the Refresh Secured Card interest rate (17.99%).
While the Refresh Secured Card charges maintenance and an annual fee, Home Trust Secured Visa charges no fee. In addition, Home Trust Secured Visa covers all your purchases with 90 days of Purchase Protection, giving you additional security.
Final Thoughts on Refresh Financial Review
Getting personal loans or mortgages with poor or no credit history could be impossible. But credit building service providers such as Refresh help you improve your credit score to get approval on any loan you want.
However, don’t rush into using a credit service builder without understanding its pros and cons. Even if you meet the requirements of Refresh, consider the monthly payments, interest rates, and fees before applying. Otherwise, you will compound your problem by attracting more charges to yourself.
Overall, my Refresh Financial review is positive, and I recommend it to anyone looking to build or rebuild their credit score.
So the question is, is Refresh perfect for you? If yes, take the next step of using it to build your credit score.
FAQs on Refresh Financial Review
Does Refresh Financial Report to Credit Bureau?
Yes, Refresh reports to two major credit bureaus, namely Equifax and TransUnion.
How Often Do Refresh Report to the Credit Bureaus?
Refresh reports to Equifax and TransUnion every month.
How Much Can My Credit Score Increase with Refresh?
There’s no guarantee on how much your credit score will increase with Refresh. This is because credit score increase is determined by your credit history, credit usage, payment history, and other factors.
Does Refresh Financial Charge a Withdrawal Fee?
Yes. Refresh charges a $20 withdrawal fee.
How Long Will it Take for Me to Get My Funds From Refresh?
It takes 10 to 15 working days to get your funds in your account after requesting a withdrawal. However, it may take longer if you recently requested another payment or have a pending payment. Refresh processes old requests before new ones.
How is Interest Calculated on Refresh Secured Card?
Refresh Secured Card has a 17.99% interest rate. If you fail to make a full-balance payment after the 21-days grace period, the interest accumulates on the outstanding balance and is added to your next payment.
If you have more questions about this Refresh review, drop them in the comment section.